A Mid-April Round Up Of Fashion News

zaraYou know how we like to keep you abreast of fashion news. In this ever-changing, kinetically charged culture we live in, news of all types comes and goes, dies-on-the-vine pretty much the minute it surfaces and none quicker then what is happening with moda, fashion, 时尚, mode whatever you want to call it. So here is a round-up of stylish doings for mid-April 2017.

None other than old Von Gutenberg friend, top latex designer, colleague Dawnamatrix was featured in a long wonderful piece about what they do, how they do it, and how it relates to the current music scene. The Shira Karsen interviewer/article just posted at Billboard.com and you can find it here: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/lifestyle/7751614/the-latex-fashion-designer-to-the-stars. When anybody from the V.G. family makes news like this, we really do love boasting about it.

As quickly as designer Zara posted their “Pepe the Frog” skirt for sale, they took the denim skirt sporting the infamous frog heads down. As one might recall this particular frog head with glasses became a symbol for a specific ultra-arm of one political party during the Trump-Clinton election cycle. People have seemingly not forgotten who the frog was adopted by and Twitter was alive with objections to Zara’s new wardrobe piece. Enough objections that Zara pulled the skirt.

And lastly…

In another ‘pulled’ add this week-pulled for different reasons then poor Pepe-Rimmel London gave in to pressure over what eagle-eye watchers were calling a misleading mascara add with model Cara Delevingne in the main offending role. UK’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled to ban the ad, saying that Delevingne is seen sporting false eyelashes and fillers to them, while selling Rimmel’s line of mascara, Scandaleyes Reloaded. As the add “didn’t say Delevingne had also been given individual lash inserts to fill in gaps and that some lashes had been re-drawn in post-production” the BBC said, the add rings false on the seeming amazing properties of Scandaleyes Reloaded.


Ashley Graham on the cover of Vogue Is Just Wrong, Say Critics

Ashley GrahamFalling well into the “social-media- addicts-nitpick-cause-they-can” category, there came a backlash this week over how Ashley Graham is posing on the cover of Vogue’s March issue. Standing alongside six other super models, like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, Graham is being called-out as being the only lady in the picture to have her hand covering her thigh. Instagram body sleuths are saying the larger-figured super model purposely put her hand that way (the rest of the ladies have their arms bent and horizontal as they stand chest to back in a line) because she is standing next to smaller-sized ladies. There has even been accusations leveled from sartorial spies that Vogue might have even photo shopped Hadid’s arm so it extends over Graham’s stomach.

This is Graham’s first Vogue cover-albeit with other women-and as much as she has been criticized before for photo shopped pics, it seems whenever this particular popular model shows her classic curves she is sure to see criticism. But Ashley assures us all in online comments about all this that: “I chose to pose like that…no one told me to do anything.”

It truly makes one wonder that if those of us in the moda world or even slightly interested fashionistas really have nothing better to do with their time. This kind of trumped up (not a Trump) controversy doesn’t even fall into the classic “small world vs big world” conundrum…all this brouhaha seems to be about really nothing at all. Yes, there is photo shopping done at every step of the modern fashion picture taking process, Ashley Graham is a bigger women in a typically smaller-woman game but people on the web really can’t seem to stop talking.

More photos were released via Instagram showing Graham and the others frolicking on the beach where the cover photo was shot. The ladies didn’t seem to be courting any controversy between themselves.

Berlin Alternative Fashion Week

Berlin logoIt does seem like this week we are giving you the skinny on some wild and wacky weekends of play and alternative couture. But there is good stuff coming for us all across the globe and here and Von Gutenberg we do like to keep you abreast of the latest. Berlin Alternative Fashion Week is coming next month, a “week-long programme of shows, marketplaces, and other events” to introduce fashionistas and fans to the most genre-breaking innovators.

Connecting these artisans of style and taste with their established contemporaries in the fields of music and art, sans the trappings of big commercialism is what the BAFW16 prides itself on most. It’s a nurturing environment where people can come and explore, show-off, network and most of all champion all that is gender-bending, mod, moda, Steampunk, fetish, and street…and all the rest of what falls under the rubric of alt. wear.

Berlin, like London is synonymous with PVC, latex, rubber, you-name-it-kind of fashion. This end-of-Sept-into-October week will prove to be the very zenith for presenting the very best of styles from designers of all this kind of material. Opening on 9/28 with their Press Evening happening between 5pm-8, just a few of the events that follow include the “REUSE: it Show,” and a Designers Market open to the public. But mainly the week is centered around the main show “Alchemy” running in the afternoon, evening and night, featuring designers like Nixi KIllick, TZUJI, 8DIX and Samsara Collections.

Sponsors this year include Kevin Murphy, Fashion Revolution, and the Esmod Berlin, International University of Art for Fashion to name just a few.

Not that any of us are ever hard pressed for a place to be or show off, but one can clearly see that the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week might just be the best place for fashionistas of a certain ‘different’ sensibility.


MOMA’s “Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion”

MOMANobody here at Von Gutenberg would ever dare say that fashion is not important. Some of the most iconic historical moments, too many performers, even whole cultures and cities have been and continue to be set, influenced, informed by fashion. From Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat, to Victorian corsetry design, to all that latex, PVC and leather fitting across our super-heros, to Beatles haircuts, fashion in all its forms defines us. But the capricious wind that blows through that which we know as stylish, ‘now and wow,’ alternative fetish sexy, paparazzi-worthy in our clothes, accessories and haircuts, prompts the age-old question: is fashion, moda, haute couture, style, wardrobe…art?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC seems to think so.

During this past year the Museum ran its “Manus x Machine” exhibition, which we reported on. Exploring the relationship (good, bad and often occurring in fits and starts) between fashion and technology, MOMA’s exhibition was kicked-off at their Gala and continues even now. With the advent of ‘smart clothes,’ ‘tech wear’ and all those advances we have seen in textiles and styles, this exhibit was certainly one perfect for the times.

Furthering their fashion-is-art assumption, MOMA will unpack, “Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion,” on November 8.

Like Manus x Machine and seemingly the way in which to reason that indeed fashion is art, MOMA shows pieces in this new exhibit from the 18th century forward. Acquired by the museum in the past decade, the 60 pieces here will be set out on display in packing crates and palettes, as if they have just been dropped into the museum. Included are items like a ball gowns, Haltson dresses, a 1730 Robe Volante robe and even men’s pieces displayed by themselves as paired with other pieces.

In continuing to show how deeply fashion infects and influences the human condition,MOMA’s “Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion,” will once again prove fashion is art.

Mary Kate and Ashley Give Sephora An Exclusive Brand’s Instagram Account

mkaselfieIsn’t it ironic that someone’s first-ever selfie could make fashion news these days? But news was indeed made when normally private (some would say pathologically so) designers, ex-T.V. star kids, twins Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen splashed a dual selfie across Sephora’s Instagram account last week. Puckering and styling in big sunglass accessories, the ladies got more viral mileage with this one shot-possibly not intending to-then maybe they have ever with their designs.

In the current climate of the saturation of see-and-be-scenesters, in the fashion world as just about any place else, the oft-talked about privacy the Olsen sisters seem to cherish, is legendary. On the opposite end of the spectrum from the likes of a Kardashian, the Olsen ladies could easily be branded reclusive in their consistent reluctance to be interviewed, or captured in pictures unless they absolutely have to be. Encountering an unprecedented brush of stardom at such an early age as the darlings of the “Full House” sitcom (neither girl has been involved in the current Netflix reboot/continuation of the show on the new “Fuller House”) the sisters seemed to have had enough of the fame game very early in their career.

But really, can a popular designer hide? In a very real sense, Mary-Kate and Ashley don’t seem to, really. We see them out and about at all the major moda “weeks” and events, they have welcomed the countless awards and accolades they have won, are indeed the recognizable faces of a successful design house, have had plenty of paparazzi snap their pics standing together. It’s just that when it comes to something as self-aggrandizing as a selfie, the women, up until now, have seemed to have avoided such displays.

Will we see more of the sister’s flirting with their public across Instagram? Does this now infamous selfie speak to a newer openness the Olsen’s will enjoy with the public at large? Or did Mary Kate and Ashley simply snap a pic together, send it across Sephora’s account and think nothing more about it?

Maybe as we all should?



Best Not To ‘Bag’ On Salvatore Ferragamo, Balenciaga and Mansur Gavriel

mqdefaultIt’s interesting how weeks can go by and there’s no new news about couture accessories…and the all in one week we get three stories about handbags. It seems Salvatore Ferragamo, Balenciaga and Mansur Gavriel are all making news over legitimacy of their unique designs.

Ferragamo has taken to installing microchips in its bags and shoes to stop fraudulent product production, as much to assure people get the most when reselling. eBay prices for slightly ‘used’ Ferragamo accessories can reach high limits…and one wants to make sure they are certainly paying for the real item. As the chip can only be read at the longest distance of 4cm, nobody can really be ‘tracked’ from the Feragamo chip and the company hopes to cut down on the near 13,000 knock-offs sold last year under their name….for nearly $20 million dollars!

The Thai fashion community seems to be backing off their early claim that designer Demna Gvasalia’s first collection for Balenciaga offered bags all-too-reminiscent of the oversized striped bags that are considered the country’s traditional “market bag.” After all too brief a deliberation the Department of Intellectual Property Thailand simply stated that “It’s unlikely anybody can sue Balenciaga because the materials and shapes are different.”

Interestingly enough though, Demna Gvasalia is a designer to watch, as he has certainly managed to ‘appropriate’ famous logos and symbols for some of his clothes before and enjoys what is diplomatically referred to in high moda circles as “reworking” aesthetics.

And lastly, New York bag and shoe company Mansur Gavriel has just filed a lawsuit in federal court for copyright infringement against Italian labels, Pelletteria Pierre SNC, DiScarselli Roberto & C, and a few others. M.G. claims that at times these Italian companies have produced products whose shape, size, color and texture (or all of the above) have been too similar to their bags.

Sophy Robson Nail-Its

We make no distinction over what is and what is not fashionable (or art). In Von Gutenberg magazine we have featured models with tattoos (famous tat T.V. star Megan Massacre was the covergirl of our issue #8), have traipsed across many a theme, like Steampunk and Sci-fi. We have featured sketch artists, writers, performance artists, photographers, you-name-it in across our pages and on our blogs. And of course you see all kinds of alternative couture in what we do and in our shop even (see here). It should be no surprise then that we report below on Sophy Robson’s new press-on nail line, Nail-Its.

Robson is well known for her “nail art;” she’s worked with Marc Jacobs and Henry Holland, and was the lady behind the 2012 Olympics flag designs. With Nail Its she offers a product for wearers of all ages and employed her own manufacturer so from glue, to brush, to bottle all pieces of what she is presenting conforms to her exacting specifications. Sophy makes it very easy indeed to dress-up your nails with very little effort for those times when you can’t get to a salon or are looking to make your own little statement across your fingertips.

Let’s face it, when it comes to press-on nails there are a lot of options. Sophy Robson enters this very full field knowing she offers an alternative that is worthy of consideration…and one that is easy to apply. In the world of press-on nails, get-up-and-go hair care, any accessory or couture that keeps pace with our super fast moving modern existence a designer/manufacturer has present a better mouse trap or they will get lost in the shuffle. Sophy Robson has proved time and again she knows well what she is doing, so Nail-It is sure to be a hit.

The Nail Its designs can be been on Robson’s Tumblr page, Thisisnailporn.tumblr.com and purchased here: Thisisbeautymart.com.

V.G.’s own artful couture can be found here:

The ‘Older’ Ladies Take The 2014 Emmys

Surely lots of us were checking-out MTV’s annual broadcast of the VMA’s this year (as previously reported, V.G. friend and a designer we have used often, Dawnamatrix, provided outfits for Beyoncé show-ending show-stopping performance at that show, see here) but the very next night ABC ran the Emmy awards show. And if you had occasion to check red carpet prelims or catch presenters sauntering across stage, beyond the stunning array of outfits on display you may have noticed how the older women (decidedly appearing on the Emmy’s as mostly younger men and women populate the VMA’S) were bringing the beauty in an unprecedented way.


I am thinking about how ravishing Edie Falco or Allison Janney looked, or Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her Carolina Herrera (to name just a few of the “over 40” stunning ladies at the Emmy’s Monday night.) Lots can be made about a Katy Perry and her gravity defying bosom (and it should pretty much be ‘up there’ seeing how young she is) or Nicki Minajia’s butt implants, but when a true woman of four decades our more brings the style, grace and just all hot sexy couture to the proceedings not just Joan Rivers should be noticing.

We should all be celebrating such classy looking women.

Then again, once again, I did find myself wondering what the hell these award shows are thinking when they do not position a ready usher to help these wonderful ladies up those freaking stage steps! This has nothing to do with a woman’s age, we all saw Jennifer Lawrence slip as she made her way up to accept an Oscar a few years back. My complaint here has to do with a lack of manners and yes, some old fashioned chivalry of escorting a lady, holding a door for her or her chair, etc. Simply put, a lady should be escorted in those moments when it seems to be well needed, for instance when she is negotiating a flight of stair in heels and a long gown. Jessica Lange (who also looked stunning) had to actually motion for Liev Schreiber  to come and help her up the stairs last night.


I say if you want to keep these ladies dressing to the nines, as they all were last night, maybe provide them an arm to hold on to when they ascend a flight of stairs.

If you want to dress to the nines, why not check out our Von Gutenberg couture, here.


Von Gutenberg Designer Dawnamatrix Scores Beyoncé for VMA’s

EVENT FLYER-01As it should be for all of us, when one of our friends (and someone we have worked with plenty of times in the past) has great news we are not only thrilled for them but get a jolt of living vicariously through them sharing that news. One of the featured latex designers at any Von Gutenberg shoot and someone CEO/publisher and head photographer Erik Von Gutenberg has taken plenty of photographs for (see the flyer to the left here) is Dawnamatrix. Dawnamatrix just ‘got the gig’ to deliver 71 garments to Beyoncé for the pop diva’s 16 dancers for this Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV!

All we can say is wow…but then again it is a well deserved job for a hard working company.

Beyoncé’s stylist, Marni Serofonte ordered pieces of various latex (what anyone would consider very sex stuff indeed) after seeing a Dawnamatrix outfit accessory in a recent Andrew Richardson shoot with Linda Evangelista. L.E. was wearing a very distinctive Dawnamatrix piece, something Dawnamtarix makes very well indeed, and Serofonte was impressed enough to start history-as-it-is-being made over at the Dawnamatix camp.

We’d love to tell you exactly what the pieces are, but the mystery will be revealed soon enough…and of course when you tune into the VMA broadcast to watch what Beyoncé and crew get up to.

The flyer attached here is for the upcoming Montreal Fetish Weekend (coming the end of August actually) where Dawnamatrix is showing their new line, as they have been doing for quite a few years now; to say this VMA gig comes at a busy time in the life of the designer would be an understatement. But what a gig it is!

Beyoncé is going to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Sunday at Los Angeles’ Forum and is also nominated for eight video awards.


We couldn’t be happier to celebrate this high profile super cool accomplishment with Dawnamatrix and of course will be watching the VMA’s come Sunday night on MTV at 9pm.

See Dawnamatrix designs here.

Rihanna in W Magazine

article-2721955-2071D8FD00000578-522_634x478On the inside of September’s issue of W Magazine all seems perfectly fashion de rigueur as Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and Iman pose together modeling for Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing. Long skirts and fury sweaters of basic bright colors from the brand have the women looking fabulous to be sure but it is the cover (and some further solo RiRi shots inside the mag) where Rihanna makes the most interesting mark. On the cover of Rihanna sports a Donna Karan dress, Ashley Lloyd headdress (yes, an actual headdress!) septum ring and Stephen Dweck necklace over what appears to be her bare chest. This “tribal” spread is continued with some solo shots of RiRi inside, where she sports further fur and even poses (though she’s not dancing) with wolves.
It’s certainly an alternative look the singer is attempting and quite the contrast to the studied high couture display she and the fashion icons reveal in their spread.

This isn’t the first time Rihanna has appeared in W and certainly not the first she’s worn some over-the-top top, wild make-up or revealed a little skin…in the showing skin department Rihanna is tops! Less we forget being a pop diva/fashion designer/worldwide known personality requires consistent shocking of the masses and when you have a 26 year-old face and body still supple, firm and basically beautiful it behooves a celeb not to use all they have in the most provocative way possible. Nobody will really be shocked by these photos, but they are sexy all the same.Campbell, Iman, RiRi

Campbell, Iman and Rihanna look like high fashion models in their trio shoot, Rihanna like one of our better known fetish stars on the cover; the dichotomy is sure to sell magazines and has made an impression across the net this week.

Once again Rihanna scores.

If you want to score with some of our sexy couture, might we suggest clicking your mouse on over to: http://vongutenbergcouture.com/